Cairns Festival is an annual celebration of who we are and our unique tropical lifestyle with 10 days of performances, exhibitions, film and the ever-popular Grand Parade, Fireworks display and Carnival on Collins.
The Cairns Festival vision is simple; to deliver a vibrant, progressive and collaborative community festival which is highly reflective and engaged with the community.
The festival aims to seek greater regional and national recognition of our cultural identity in the Far North; to tell our unique stories and celebrate our distinctive, tropical lifestyle.
The 2020 Cairns Festival will run from Friday 28 August - Sunday 6 September.
Opportunities for Artists and Performers
Annually the Cairns Festival seeks to deliver a vibrant, progressive and collaborative arts and cultural festival featuring local and national talent and ideas. In particular the Cairns Festival program has a focus on presenting local, original content that provides new experiences for our audience.
If you are able to offer something fresh, new and original to our festival program please submit an application below or send an email to email@example.com
Artist applications for the 2020 Cairns Festival are now closed.
Cairns Festival was founded by Cairns Regional Council on 26 May 1961 with the highlight event being the grand opening of a new jetty on Green Island. This was the same time that the first annual Cairns Tourist Festival was established.
In 1963 the festival was named 'Fun in the Sun'. The Fun in the Sun name and branding remained in place until the early nineties when it was re-launched as 'Reef Festival' to celebrate the city's gateway access to the Great Barrier Reef and diving industry.
It became Fun in the Sun in 1963 and kept this name until the early '90s when it was rebranded as Reef Festival to celebrate the city's gateway access to the Great Barrier Reef and diving industry.
In 2002 Cairns Festival underwent another dynamic incarnation as Festival Cairns in an effort to bring all of the city's key events together under one big, colourful umbrella. In effect, the impact would cause people to stop and celebrate the spirit and lifestyle of the tropical north while focussing a spotlight on the region as a must-see, destination for domestic and international visitors.
In 2013, Cairns Festival returned to its roots with a focus on engaging the local community and promoting Cairns and region artists and performers.